glass lizard

glass lizard

noun
any limbless, snakelike lizard of the genus Ophisaurus, inhabiting the eastern U.S., Europe, and Asia, having external ear openings and the ability to regenerate its long, fragile tail.
Also called glass snake.
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Encyclopedia Britannica
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glass lizard

any lizard of the genus Ophisaurus in the family Anguidae, so named because the tail is easily broken off. The Eastern glass lizard, Ophisaurus ventralis, occurs in southeastern North America and grows to about 105 cm (41 inches). Together, the lizard's head and body account for only 30 to 35 percent of its total length. It has no legs but is easily distinguished from a snake by its ears, movable eyelids, nonexpandable jaws, and the fact that the scales on the lower and upper sides of the body are of equal size. It closely resembles the slender glass lizard, O. attenuatus, which has a broader distribution in southeastern North America northwestward into the upper Mississippi River valley. Unlike O. ventralis, which has a broad band along each lower side, O. attenuatus has narrow dark lines

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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